We all want to change for the better, and when you’re with the right person, we become extra motivated to become the best versions of ourselves. However, there’s a huge difference between improving ourselves and changing just to appease our partners. At the end of the day, we all deserve someone who loves and accepts us, warts and all.
There are somethings that you should never change for the sake of another person. Here are some of them from The Huffington Post and Bustle.
1. Your friends and family
Your significant other doesn’t have to love every single person in your life, but they should at least respect your relationships. These people are your loved ones, and he should care enough to see why these people are important to you.
If, after giving them a chance, your significant other doesn’t like some of your friends and family, that’s fine, but they should never pressure you to cut ties with someone—unless that person is actually bad for you. If your partner makes you feel bad for spending time with your friends, you should definitely say something.
2. Your goals
Your dreams and ambitions should be what determines your choices and direction, not one person. Giving up your dreams for the sake of a relationship could make you lose sight of who you are. As Bustle puts it, “a relationship should always support your dreams.”
“If you’ve always been career-oriented, your partner should encourage decisions that support your career,” couples and family therapist Amy Kipp tells The Huffington Post. “If having children is something you have always dreamed of, you shouldn’t let go of that to make a partner happy. These are the issues that you should be talking about along the way, so you can each determine if your goals align.”
Read more about things you shouldn’t change on the next page.
3. Your self-esteem
You should never let anyone—most especially a significant other—make you question your self-worth. Real love builds you up, not tears you down. If your partner talks down to you or calls you names, you should speak up and stand up for yourself. That kind of behavior is unacceptable, and if it persists, you should probably reconsider your situation.
4. Your beliefs
You and your partner may not have the same values or beliefs, but you should not change them to accommodate your partner. Yes, you can talk about your different beliefs, but always with respect. Put your foot down if you feel like your partner is imposing his belief system on you.
“Trying to be someone you’re not for the benefit of your partner is a tiresome and weary way to live,” divorce coach Kira Gould tells The Huffington Post. “It’s not sustainable over time. In particular, changing or compromising on your values or belief systems is a no go.”
5. What makes you “you”
First of all, you aren’t a fixer-upper. We all have flaws, but they’re what sets us apart from everyone else. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t ever strive to be better, but we shouldn’t hide our unique traits for someone else’s pleasure.
And sometimes, your significant other may want to change one characteristic of yours that isn’t even undesirable!
“If you have been told by many people that a certain unique characteristic is a positive asset, don’t change it for the one person who criticizes it,” marriage and family therapist Marni Feuerman explains to The Huffington Post. “Maybe you are outgoing and friendly but this makes your partner jealous or perhaps you’re free-spirited but your partner gets infuriated by your lack of planning.”
READ: 7 things terrible husbands have in common
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